During the pandemic, you may be among the millions who put off getting screening tests for cancer and other diseases. However, a postponement could delay a diagnosis and treatment for a health problem. Here are some reminders to help you get back on track:
Screening tests can help find possible problems or diseases, even if you don’t have symptoms. Checkups and screening tests help find diseases or health problems early, when they are easier to treat and cure. While they can’t diagnose a disease, they can help you find out if you need more testing for a possible problem.
Know the recommended tests based on your age, sex, risk factors and family history. Ask your healthcare provider about screening for high blood pressure; cholesterol; diabetes; osteoporosis; skin, breast, colorectal, cervical, prostate and lung cancers; HIV; and Hepatitis C. Your doctor may also recommend screening for STDs or mental health conditions, like depression. For more information, visit: https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/doctor-visits/screening-tests/get-screened
Additional checkups and exams are vital. Healthy adults should see a dentist once or twice a year and an eye doctor regularly. Get exams more frequently as recommended by your provider if you have dental disease, vision or eye problems or chronic conditions, or are at high risk for specific diseases.
Tell your doctor about diseases that run in your family. This may determine what additional specialized screening you may need.
Prepare a list of questions. Ask how the tests are conducted, what they may find and how often you need them. Ask about any potential benefits and risks of the tests, including the chance of false positives (meaning it says you have a disease you really don’t have, which could lead to more tests).
Find out about when you will get the test results. Ask your provider if they have an app to view the results online. Call your health practitioner’s office if you do not receive the results and/or ask the doctor or nurse to explain what the results mean.
Want personalized help? Depending on your company’s health benefits, Health Advocate can help with questions, test result interpretations, doctor appointments and more.